HE Dr al-Hammadi: stresses the need for parents’ involvement in their
By Ayman Adly
The number of students being absent from classes at local independent schools is at an unacceptable level and reflects negatively on the outcome of the learning process, HE the Minister of Education Dr Mohamed Abdulwahid al-Hammadi said yesterday.
“The main reason for this is the lack of parents’ awareness about the important role of school in their children’s education,” the minister said. He urged parents to play an active role in the school life of their children, ensuring that they attended classes regularly and maintained a high level of discipline.
Briefing the media on preparations for the new school year, al-Hammadi, also the secretary general of the Supreme Education Council (SEC), announced the decision to impose strict penalties on students who exceed the permissible percentage of absence without a valid reason.
“Students who are habitually absent are to be banned from sitting for term and final exams. We are working on making regulations on this respect,” he said.
“We started last year by issuing discipline regulations for school students and gave educators the authority to deal decisively with any behavioural problems. This reflected positively on the outcome of students’ learning,” the minister recalled.
The SEC will issue this year a “document of professional code of conduct for education professionals”, which will enhance the basic ethical values that teachers and education professionals should adopt.
“This document will represent a kind of pledge between us and them to build new generations of successful and excellent citizens in terms of education, ethics and morally,” explained al-Hammadi.
He said that in spite of various challenges, last year was one of achievements “due to the vision and support of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the guidance of HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani, who is also the SEC president”.
Al-Hammadi pointed out that last year’s achievements were based on three main levels: students, teachers and the educational process itself. Accordingly, the SEC improved its education resources and diversified them to benefit students from relevant innovations. Also, a new strategy of students’ evaluation was adopted, based on assessment of the real situation of students.
Centre to develop teachers’ skills
A new national centre will be created to develop the skills of teachers and educators, HE the Minister of Education Dr Mohamed Abdulwahid al-Hammadi announced yesterday. He also said the system of teacher evaluation would be reviewed. The “unnecessary administrative burdens and duties” of teachers would be eased to allow them to focus more on teaching, he said.
Regarding the SEC authorisation for fee hike by some private schools, the minister said the permission was based on the proven improvement of education services they offered to students and in most cases it was around 10%.
“However, some schools were authorised to effect hikes up to 25% as their original fees were deemed too low to maintain the cost of a quality operation.”